California’s Dark Money Apparatus

Not only does California permit political donations to legislators from corporations, unions and associations whose shareholders, employees and members are compensated under terms determined by those same legislators but citizens are kept in the dark about those and other donations until it’s too late to act.

E.g., most donations made between January 1 and June 30, which is the period during which the budget is passed and most bills are evaluated in committees, aren’t made public until July 31, which is after most bills have been advanced, amended or killed in committees and the budget has been enacted.

At this very moment, California legislators are receiving political donations while deliberating over nearly 2500 bills affecting nearly 40 million people. All political donations should be made public within 24 hours of receipt. Citizens should never be in the dark about donations being made to their elected officials.

Lecturer at Stanford University and president of Govern For California

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